Northwest NEWS

June 18, 2001



2001 4 cylinder Volkswagen GTI GLS 1.8T.
Photo credit.

TEST DRIVE - 2001 Volkswagen GTI GLS 1.8T

The 2001 Volkswagen GTI GLS 1.8 T is a small, but ample and very practical car that gets great gas mileage. It has a box-type shape and holds five passengers.
   With two doors and a hatchback, I appreciated the front seat engineering. Both the driver and passenger seats have a lever that moves the seats up and forward allowing easy access to the rear.
   My test model came in green rave pearl, which is such a distinctive shade of green that I had no trouble locating it in a large parking lot. The leather package included a multi-function steering wheel, 17" alloy wheels and summer tires and a monsoon sound system. The beige leather interior gave the GTI a light and more spacious feeling.
   This is a very easy car to maneuver. The 1.8 L, 150 hp, 4-cylinder turbo-charge engine provides plenty of power. The 5-speed manual transmission with overdrive shifts easily.
   The GTI has the anti-lock braking system (ABS), front wheel drive, sport suspension, and track correcting independent torsion beam rear suspension.
   I enjoyed the nicer weather with the power glass sunroof, which tilts and slides and has a sunshade.
   The front seats are height adjustable and fully recline with adjustable head restraints. The rear seat does a 60/40 split fold allowing for a good sized cargo area. The seats easily fold by pulling on a loop for the bottom seat and then pulling up a lever for the seat backs to fold over.
   There is a luggage compartment cover that attaches to the hatchback. It lifts up when you open the back. You can also remove it easily for larger items. For those who want more space you can attach a roof rack but, because of the molded rain gutters, it is important to only use the specially designed ones available from the Volkswagen dealer.
   Safety features include daytime running lights, front and side impact airbags for front passengers and height-adjustable front safety belts.
   Standard on the GTI are power and heated side mirrors, air conditioning including CFC-free with pollen, dust and odor filter, cruise control, illuminated vanity mirror on both the driver and passenger side, front and rear reading lights, power windows with one touch for up/down, height adjustable and telescoping steering wheel, rear window defroster, remote keyless entry.
   The blue and red illuminated dials are easy on your eyes and easy to read. There is a tachometer, engine coolant temperature gauge, fuel gauge, speedometer/odometer, digital clock and a multi-function indicator in the instrument cluster.
   The glove compartment is of average size and lockable.
   There are two cup holders in the front console and one in the back that latch in and out.
   The center console serves as an armrest and storage area. It easily moves up and out of the way when needed.
   Volkswagen keys are always fun. They are large, come with a leather case and fold. Pressing a button on the key releases the key with quick action.
   The GTI comes with a 2 year or 24,000 mile no charge scheduled maintenance package.